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Association between Antiretroviral Treatment and Markers of Systemic Inflammation among HIV Patients in Ghana

[ Vol. 18 , Issue. 6 ]


Zelalem T. Haile*, Bismark Sarfo, Evelyn Y. Bonney, Eric A. Mensah and Selase Deletsu   Pages 466 - 474 ( 9 )


Background: Studies from high-income countries have reported that even after receiving antiretroviral treatment (ART), HIV-infected adults may not achieve normal levels of certain inflammatory markers that are known to be associated with the onset and development of non-communicable diseases.

Objective: The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between ART and markers of systemic inflammation in HIV/AIDS patients at an urban antiretroviral clinic in Ghana.

Methods: We examined serum levels of high sensitivity CRP (hsCRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin- 18(IL-18), and tumor necrosis factor-α (sTNFR1 and sTNFR2) from 40 HIV infected patients. Kruskal-Wallis Test was used to examine the differences in markers of systemic inflammation according to the types of ART medication taken. We then utilized generalized additive models (GAM) with non-linear function to examine the association between ART and markers of systemic inflammation after adjusting for potential confounders.

Results: Overall, 30 (75.0%) of the participants received ART and 35 (85%) were female. Kruskal- Wallis Test revealed no significant differences in the markers of systemic inflammation among the three categories of ART (none, AZT, 3TC, EFV/NVP, and TDF, 3TC/FTC, EFV/NVP). In the multivariable- adjusted GAM model, we found a significant but non-linear association between time since diagnosis and CRP levels (p=0.006).

Conclusion: Although the relatively small sample size limits the scope of the study's findings, these results suggest that individuals on ART need to be screened periodically for the development of chronic conditions. This line of investigation has the potential to influence treatment and clinical guidelines that will improve the quality of care for HIV-infected patients.


Human Immunodeficiency virus, antiretroviral therapy, systemic inflammation, chronic diseases, CRP, GAM.


Department of Social Medicine, Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dublin OH-43016, Department of Epidemiology and Disease Control, University of Ghana School of Public Health, Legon, Department of Virology, University of Ghana Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Legon, Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Ghana, Legon, Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Ghana, Legon

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